Summer reads


A new collection of our most beach-friendly articles

How better to spend these longer days than absorbed in a great read? Gathered below are some of my favourite stories. I'll add new ones throughout the season.

Our Mountain West correspondent shares four books (and a podcast) that explain America’s evolving relationship with fire. Pair it with this story from 1843 that takes you deep into the Australian bush to understand Aboriginal fire management. And for those who have already read Bartleby’s entreaty to “celebrate indolence” in your beach reads, here’s a closer look at the perfectionism trap. Why have we become so dissatisfied with being ordinary?

I’m in New York. Write to me from your part of the world (even if it’s winter) about which of our articles you're absorbed in this season, and why. Look for them in a “Readers’ picks” collection, coming soon. I look forward to reading them all.

Stephanie Studer
US Digital Editor
[email protected]

The Economist reads

What to read to understand Singapore

Our former Asia columnist on whether it’s a miraculously stable spot, or a dystopia

The best books to read to understand financial crime

Our deputy business affairs editor considers a boom in financial shenanigans


What to read to understand the history of Western capitalism

Our senior economics writer picks three books and two papers


Our former Asia columnist on what to read to grasp the looming crisis in Taiwan

The best five books for understanding a likely flashpoint

Our Bello columnist on the essential books for understanding Latin America

The seven books for getting to grips with the Americas

The best books to explain America’s debate on abortion rights

Four recommendations from our American social affairs correspondent

Our obituaries editor picks the five best biographies ever written



Views from elsewhere


Dive into 1843

Gentle distractions

Beach reads for business folk

What to read when you are not working

Origami spreads its wings

From child’s play to spacecraft, by way of mathematics and mechanical engineering



How Super Mario became a global cultural icon

A pudgy Italian plumber who lives in America, was conceived in Japan and is loved throughout the world


On the ball

How to watch the Tour de France from afar

Cyclists’ epic three weeks of pain can be a TV viewer’s delight

How sport reflects America’s changing demography

Sports teams, like people, are moving south and west


The genius of Rafael Nadal

The Spanish tennis star’s astonishing domination of the French Open goes on


The rise and rise of Forest Green Rovers

The green football club that fans struggle to locate


World in a dish

In praise of mass-market American tacos

Authenticity is a terrible metric for judging food

The art of fasting

In a season of abstinence, take a lesson from Ethiopia


Regional foods can contain multitudes of memories

The Maid-Rite sandwich, popular in Iowa, is a prime example


The joy of gardening

The crops can be delicious. But that is not the real point


Food for thought

Finding living planets

Life evolves on planets—and planets with life evolve. From a series of six articles on biology

The tragedy of Alaa Abd el-Fattah, a relentless revolutionary

One of Egypt’s best thinkers, the writer and activist has spent most of the last decade in prison


Hayek, Popper and Schumpeter formulated a response to tyranny

Their lives and reputations diverged, but their ideas were rooted in the traumas of their shared birthplace


Special report | The future of travel

Travel will return, more exotically than ever. But it will look different, both in the short term and the long term


In numbers

The world’s most liveable cities

Life is getting back to normal, if not quite everywhere

Tel Aviv is the world’s most expensive city

Supply-chain disruptions have pushed up living costs around the world


A new low for global democracy

More pandemic restrictions damaged democratic freedoms in 2021


The Big Mac index

Our interactive currency comparison tool


Evergreen opinion

Bello: A Nicaraguan writer reflects on exile from a dictatorship

Sergio Ramírez’s new novel has enraged Daniel Ortega, the autocratic president

Bartleby: Why women need the office

Female workers should think twice before opting for more remote work


Lexington: A racial-history lesson from the son of a slave

Daniel Smith may be the last direct link to slavery


Free exchange: Just how Dickensian is China?

Inequality is better than it was. But it doesn’t feel that way


Defining the world

Explainer: How will the next Dalai Lama be chosen?

The spiritual reincarnation will have political consequences for America, China and India

Explainer: How are wildfires fought?

And why, and when, they shouldn’t be


Explainer: What is an NFT?

“Non-fungible tokens” use cryptocurrencies’ blockchains to sell original versions of digital artefacts


Explainer: Who controls the Arctic?

Russia is flexing its muscles as climate change opens up new possibilities in the north